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Cultural Units of Learning
- Tools and Services

Objective

CULTOS will create knowledge-aware multimedia authoring tools that have high usability for non-technical cultural experts. The consortium will develop a knowledge model, capture user requirements of the author groups, adapt existing knowledge management and authoring tools to fit requirements, and let users build actual showcases of knowledge enhanced ""Intertextual Cultural Threads"" consisting of music, video, text, etc. The tools will produce Enhanced Multimedia Meta Objects (EMMOs), a novel type of multimedia object conforming to current standards f.e. XML/SMIL (syntactic format & presentation), MPEG-7 (meta-data for content description), MPEG-21 (framework for value chains of digital items), RDF (resource description framework). CULTOS' knowledge-aware multimedia authoring tools are a prerequisite for publishing and trading high-value knowledge products in the emerging information society.

OBJECTIVES
The aim of CULTOS is to develop new knowledge-aware multimedia authoring and presentation tools for non-technical experts, for cross-media integration of cultural multimedia artefacts.

This includes:
1) Development of end-user tools, system tools and integration tools that support autonomous, portable meta-data objects;
2) Specification and implementation of the properties of autonomous portable meta-data objects (Enhanced Multimedia Meta Objects - EMMOs);
3) Delivery/deployment of these objects in different publishing scenarios;
4) Definition of an ontology for the domain of cultural studies/literary science, which will be proposed as a standard methodology for intertextual work;
5) Specification and implementation of support tools for publishing workflows;
6) Building showcases of cultural knowledge about European culture.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
CULTOS includes the following main activities:
1. Development of web authoring tools: In three iterations, existing authoring tools will be adapted and further developed to fit the needs of non-technical cultural knowledge workers. Each cycle includes capturing user requirements, design and implementation authoring tools, test and validation ot the tools;
2. Design of document models: This cluster of activities aims at both tracking the development of technical standards and technologies, and at clearly defining the specifications of enhanced multimedia meta objects (EMMOs) as ""the unit of value"" of the publishing value chain;
3. Design and implementation of intertextual knowledge: World experts in the field of comparative literature and intertextuality together with knowledge engineers will create an ontology of literary concepts as basis for the design and implementation of ""Intertextual Cultural Threads"" - the main content output of the project. These threads are meta objects that contain references to knowledge and multimedia content;
4. Tool Integration: Three types of integration are needed: 4.1. Authoring tools with analysis tools for the support of knowledge workers 4.2. Runtime delivery of multimedia assets to customers 4.3. Rights management for CULTOS content in the publishing workflow;
5. Exploitation of results according to roles and interests: publication of cultural content on various hypermedia platforms; commercial exploitation of tools in different application domains; exploitation of the technology for education and distance learning, including the development of advanced digital libraries holding semantically rich and media-rich knowledge threads.
1.3.1 Methodology
- developing a computer based ontology for the humanities The project made a contribution towards the development of computer based ontologies by adapting an existing knowledge modelling tool in ways that allowed technical laymen to use them for the creation of a very specialised domain ontology in the humanities. [truncated because of char limit] The experience of developing an ontology in this way led to numerous improvements made to the original ontology-building tool. 1.3.2 Methodology
- designing intertextual threads using a computer based ontology The CULTOS authoring tool as used in the showcases requires a learning process that must not be underestimated. There are two causes for the complexity of the tool: first, there are several modes of usage to cater for different approaches to building knowledge threads: for example, one can start by first importing media and then defining ontological relationships between the media, or one can start by essentially designing a knowledge thread at a conceptual level and later adding the actual media to that design. Second, the ontology uses over a hundred concepts and approximately 150 main relationships [rest truncated because of char limit] The project made a contribution towards demonstrating the desirability of using advanced software tools in application domains that are traditionally non-IT based, by balancing the learning required on the part of the user with a gain in productivity at a qualitative level. The knowledge threads are digital products that use an open architecture and thus, can be migrated more easily, into future IT solutions for Education and Science. 1.3.3 Conceptual models
- Ontology of Intertextual and Literary Studies We consider four accomplishments as our major achievements in the chosen application domain: Developing the idea of the Intertextual Thread as a new cultural unit, usable for research, education, and other cultural goals.

Developing a theoretical data model in the field of intertextuality, which aims to include all possible relations between texts, and is proposed as a standard for literary research and neighbouring domains. Identifying as many intertextual relations as possible and mapping all these relations onto the model. The identification involved a process of supplying an exact definition for each of the relations (selecting and adopting an existing definition, redefining, or even creating original definitions for less acknowledged relations). Developing showcases of Intertextual Threads. Two of these accomplishments (the data model and the set of defined intertextual relationships) can be summarised as the ontology for intertextual and literary studies.[truncated because of char limit] 1.3.4 Conceptual models
- Enhanced Multimedia Meta Objects (EMMOs) The model for Enhanced Multimedia Meta Objects (EMMOs) was developed from the intuition that in a knowledge and content sharing economy, different applications would need to adhere to open standards with respect to the containers that knowledge and media objects are "delivered" in. [rest truncated because of char limit] The EMMO model can be regarded as an enrichment layer on top of standard database technology. 1.3.5 Software
- CULTOS Knowledge and Multimedia Authoring Tool The CULTOS Multimedia Authoring Tool represents approximately 15 person years of research and development effort and has achieved a very good level of maturity. [truncated because of char limit] The advantage of CULTOS lies in enabling a knowledge worker to present their knowledge with multi-/hypermedia support without having to do any low-level presentation programming and without losing the conceptual structure of the knowledge thread. The tools were tested and validated with a user group in the humanities, but we have shown that the software can be used in any environment. While it is in principle possible to even use the tools as pure hypermedia production tools (with an empty ontology) it should be clear that the added value does clearly lie in the capacity of maintaining knowledge structure while creating navigational hypermedia. 1.3.6 Software
- CULTOS Media and Knowledge Repository CULTOS defined a storage layer that combines media storage and knowledge base technology in a generic fashion. [truncated because of char limit] 1.3.7 Software
- EMMO Viewer and Transformers When an author has created a multimedia knowledge thread and stored it in the repository, the question arises "how do we present this media/knowledge network of information?".[truncated because of char limit] 1.3.8 Showcases
- Intertextual threads 1.3.9 Showcases
- Educational learning module for history Klett Verlag and IVIEWS demonstrated that the authoring tools can be used in other application domains by creating an ontology that models the curricula for history in different school systems in Germany. [truncated because of char limit].

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

SALZBURG RESEARCH FORSCHUNGSGESELLSCHAFT M.B.H.
Address
Jakob Haringer Strasse 5
5020 Salzburg
Austria

Participants (10)

ERNST KLETT VERLAG GMBH
Germany
Address
Rotebuehlstrasse 77
70178 Stuttgart
INTELLIGENT VIEWS GMBH
Germany
Address
Julius Reiber-strasse 17
64293 Darmstadt
MERCATIS INFORMATION SYSTEMS GMBH
Germany
Address
Marlene Dietrich-strasse 5
89231 Neu-ulm
OPENTEC INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES SA
Greece
Address
Artemidos Str. 1
15125 Maroussi - Athens
TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET BERLIN
Germany
Address
Strasse Des 17. Juni 135
10623 Berlin
TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY
Israel
Address
Ramat Aviv
69978 Tel Aviv
UNIVERSITAET WIEN - INSTITUT FUER INFORMATIK UND WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK
Austria
Address
Liebiggasse 4/3-4
1010 Wien
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON - INSTITUTE OF ROMANCE STUDIES
United Kingdom
Address
Senate House, Malet Street
WC1E 7HU London
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON
United Kingdom
Address
Highfield
SO17 1BJ Southampton
UNIVERSITY OF TARTU
Estonia
Address
Ulikooli 18
50090 Tartu